Tag Archives: braga

Nemanja Vidic set for Manchester United return

Vidic makes timely return as Man United defender in running to face Cluj and City

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UPDATED:

13:59 GMT, 4 December 2012

Nemanja Vidic took another step towards making his Manchester United comeback in Wednesday's Champions League encounter with CFR Cluj when he took part in Tuesday''s training session at Carrington.

The Serbian has been absent since undergoing knee surgery in September and has played only 15 matches since the start of last season.

Ready for action: Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic with manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Ready for action: Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic with manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Man Utd Vidic talks to Ferguson during training at Carrington

Man Utd Vidic talks to Ferguson during training at Carrington

But it is anticipated the 31-year-old
will return as captain, which could put him in line to face Manchester
City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The only unexpected absentee was Jonny Evans, although no reason was given for the Northern Irishman's failure to train.

Midfielder Anderson, who injured his
hamstring in the 4-3 win at Reading on Saturday, was missing, as was
Antonio Valencia, who has a hip problem Sir Alex Ferguson hopes will
ease in time for Sunday's Manchester derby, which United go into three
points ahead of the champions.

While the game is a dead rubber for
the Red Devils, whose status as Group H winners is already assured, it
could be of huge significance to Cluj. The Romanian champions need to
better Galatasaray's result against Braga to reach the last 16.

Boost: Vidic could be in line for derby if he comes through Champions League tie

Boost: Vidic could be in line for derby if he comes through Champions League tie

On the ball: Rio Ferdinand in the thick of the action during training

On the ball: Rio Ferdinand in the thick of the action during training

On the ball: Rio Ferdinand in the thick of the action during training

On the ball: Rio Ferdinand in the thick of the action during training

Namanja Vidic makes timely return as Manchester United defender in running to face Cluj and City

Vidic makes timely return as Man United defender in running to face Cluj and City

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UPDATED:

12:00 GMT, 4 December 2012

Nemanja Vidic took another step towards making his Manchester United comeback in Wednesday's Champions League encounter with CFR Cluj when he took part in Tuesday''s training session at Carrington.

The Serbian has been absent since undergoing knee surgery in September and has played only 15 matches since the start of last season.

Ready for action: Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic with manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Ready for action: Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic with manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Man Utd Vidic talks to Ferguson during training at Carrington

Man Utd Vidic talks to Ferguson during training at Carrington

But it is anticipated the 31-year-old
will return as captain, which could put him in line to face Manchester
City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The only unexpected absentee was Jonny Evans, although no reason was given for the Northern Irishman's failure to train.

Midfielder Anderson, who injured his
hamstring in the 4-3 win at Reading on Saturday, was missing, as was
Antonio Valencia, who has a hip problem Sir Alex Ferguson hopes will
ease in time for Sunday's Manchester derby, which United go into three
points ahead of the champions.

While the game is a dead rubber for
the Red Devils, whose status as Group H winners is already assured, it
could be of huge significance to Cluj. The Romanian champions need to
better Galatasaray's result against Braga to reach the last 16.

Boost: Vidic could be in line for derby if he comes through Champions League tie

Boost: Vidic could be in line for derby if he comes through Champions League tie

On the ball: Rio Ferdinand in the thick of the action during training

On the ball: Rio Ferdinand in the thick of the action during training

On the ball: Rio Ferdinand in the thick of the action during training

On the ball: Rio Ferdinand in the thick of the action during training

Nemanja Vidic set for Manchester United return as Nani faces five weeks out

Vidic set for injury comeback against Cluj as Nani faces five weeks on sidelines

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UPDATED:

10:23 GMT, 30 November 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic is on course for an early return from injury – but revealed that Nani could be out for up to five weeks.

The Portugal winger has not played since the Champions League tie in Braga at the start of the month and could now be missing until the New Year.

It is a further setback for Nani whose future at Old Trafford has been thrown into doubt by an ongoing contract dispute with the club.

Out: Nani faces five weeks on the sidelines

Out: Nani faces five weeks on the sidelines

Antonio Valencia is also racing to be
fit for next weekend's Manchester derby as he recovers from a hip
injury, but there was better news for United with Vidic back in training
following knee surgery.

'It's amazing that we've been beset
with defensive injuries for quite a long period and now we've got our
defenders back we've got two wide players injured,' said Ferguson, who
has seen Chris Smalling and Phil Jones return to action in recent weeks.

'Nani could be out for a long spell,
maybe four or five weeks. With hamstrings you just need time with it.
'Antonio should be fit for next week with painful hip injury that's
getting better now.'

Comeback: Vidic (centre) has returned to training after undergoing knee surgery in September

Comeback: Vidic (centre) has returned to training after undergoing knee surgery in September

Vidic could even feature in Wednesday's final Champions League group game against CFR Cluj at Old Trafford.

'He started training during the
week,' added Ferguson. He's not been involved in the real competitive
part but at least he's back training with the first team which is good
news.

'It would be nice to play him in the
European game. I wouldn't be afraid of playing him. He's done all his
work, he's just short of match practice. I wouldn't be averse to playing
him.'

Ferguson confirmed that Ryan Giggs
(hamstring) and Nick Powell (virus) are fit for tomorrow's trip to
Reading, while Paul Scholes is available again after suspension.

'It's quite late for Scholesy to get a suspension in November,' said the United boss. 'It's usually around October!'

Ruud van Nistelrooy hopes Robin van Persie can match his Manchester United goal tally

Man United legend Van Nistelrooy hoping compatriot RVP can match his goal tally

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UPDATED:

00:40 GMT, 28 November 2012

Ruud van Nistelrooy would be delighted if Robin van Persie went on to match his amazing goalscoring feats for Manchester United.

Van Nistelrooy returned to Old Trafford on Friday for the unveiling of Sir Alex Ferguson's statue.

It ended a feud with the Manchester United boss that had rumbled on since 2006, when Ferguson turfed Van Nistelrooy out, believing the striker had become a negative influence in the dressing room.

Go for it! Ruud van Nistelrooy wants Robin van Persie to follow in his footsteps

Go for it! Ruud van Nistelrooy wants Robin van Persie to follow in his footsteps

However, such treatment should not be allowed to obscure the staggering number of goals Van Nistelrooy scored for United.

In five full seasons with the Red Devils, Van Nistelrooy scored an incredible 150 goals, including 44 in the 2002-03 Premier League title-winning season, a figure even Cristiano Ronaldo was unable to match.

Although he has now slipped to 11th on the all-time United scoring charts, amongst the leading scorers only Tommy Taylor had a better goals per game ratio.

Little wonder he is still regarded with such affection by the United faithful and the template for which any new striker is judged by.

But Van Nistelrooy is not one of those who wants their achievements to last forever.

And he would be delighted if Van Persie was the player to improve them.

'I hope he gets as many as me,' said Van Nistelrooy. 'That would be a good thing.

'I had my time. That has gone now and others have taken over. I really hope he does it.'

And whilst it is early days, Van Persie is presently ahead of schedule.

The former Arsenal man has 11 goals from his first 17 appearances, two fewer than it took Van Nistelrooy to reach the same figure, and that is despite a three-game barren streak, the longest of his United career so far, since his well-taken effort in Braga at the beginning of the month.

Good start: Van Persie has already begun to pay back his 24m fee

Good start: Van Persie has already begun to pay back his 24m fee

'Robin's style fits United so well,' said Van Nistelrooy. 'The way he wants to play, the way he likes to play.

'He has been a great success and he will continue for a good while.'

Though Ferguson has dismissed similarities over their playing style, there is one thing Van Nistelrooy and his former international team-mate have in common.

The settling-in process at Old Trafford has taken no time.

Van Nistelrooy already knew how keenly Ferguson wanted him at United by the manner in which he kept in touch when the forward's initial move from PSV Eindhoven was scrapped due to a knee injury.

Reap the benefit: Sir Alex Ferguson has been able to rely on the goal machines

Reap the benefit: Sir Alex Ferguson has been able to rely on the goal machines

And this summer, once it became obvious Van Persie was serious about his desire to leave Arsenal, Ferguson made it clear he saw the 29-year-old as an essential member of his squad.

'It is amazing to have a start like Robin has done,' said Van Nistelrooy. 'It is like he has always played for the club.

'He didn't need any time to settle in. He was straight on his level, scoring important goals and winning games for the team. I spoke to him before. He feels very good at United.

'But that is the feeling you get when you come here. You feel part of something. You feel part of the family and of a tradition.

'I felt like that. It sounds crazy now I know more about the club but that is what the manager does.

'He makes you feel strong and gets the best out of people. You just want to go out and perform. Robin is doing that now.'

Sir Alex Ferguson warns Wayne Rooney over penalty flop

Fergie's spot of advice for Rooney: Don't miss another penalty!

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UPDATED:

22:59 GMT, 9 November 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Wayne Rooney that his success rate from the penalty spot must improve.

The England striker’s failure against Arsenal meant that United had missed four of six attempts this season, with Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez and Nani also flopping from 12 yards.

Rooney made amends when United were awarded another penalty against Braga in midweek, but even assistant manager Mike Phelan admitted that the coaching staff were surprised he took it.

Spot the difference: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney missed against Arsenal (right) but scored in the Champions League (left) from 12 yards

Spot the difference: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney missed against Arsenal (right) but scored in the Champions League (left) from 12 yards

Spot the difference: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney missed against Arsenal (right) but scored in the Champions League (left) from 12 yards

Now Ferguson has told Rooney he cannot afford any more slip-ups.

‘Wayne has to accept he has to have a better strike rate with penalties,’ said the United boss. ‘He has to produce better, but he’s capable.

‘His penalty the other night, even though he slipped, hit the target and that’s important.

‘You need to make sure the keeper has to make a great save. If he does, full marks to him. The one thing about Rooney is that it wouldn’t matter if it was a World Cup final or a League Cup first round game against an amateur team, he would still want to score.

‘And his temperament is that, if he misses, it won’t affect him. That’s important for a penalty taker.’

Asked if Rooney would ever ask to hand over the penalty-taking duties to someone else, Ferguson replied ominously: ‘No chance. But he will not want to miss another one.’

Rooney has converted 74 per cent of his penalties in the League and Champions League in the last nine years, missing six out of 23.

Van Persie’s success rate with Arsenal
and United is slightly better at 80 per cent — four misses from 20 —
and Ryan Giggs’s perfect record from three attempts does not include
two he missed in other competitions.

‘I think our best penalty taker is
probably Giggs,’ added Ferguson. ‘But Ryan doesn’t play every week, so I
would have to bring him on like in those American Football games!’

Warning: Sir Alex Ferguson wants improvement from 12 yards

Warning: Sir Alex Ferguson wants improvement from 12 yards

Hot shots: Van Persie and Rooney

Hot shots: Van Persie and Rooney

Rooney’s strike in Braga took his total for United this season to three — a disappointing return by his standards, but he has often played in a deeper role to accommodate Van Persie.

And Ferguson is confident Rooney will hit the 20-goal mark and that a spread of 15 different scorers already means United can score 100 Premier League goals for the first time.

‘Last season we lost the title on goal difference and I don’t expect us to do that again,’ he said. ‘Robin may make that difference. Wazza will get there too. He will get to 20 goals plus this season.

‘It would be nice to think we could reach 100. In 2000 we were three short and the last game was at Villa Park, but we didn’t quite make it.’

United have not lost at Villa since August 1995 and return there today looking to extend their advantage at the top of the table over Chelsea and Manchester City, who play on Sunday.

They will be without Nani, ruled out for 10 days with a hamstring strain, and Jonny Evans is a doubt with a groin injury.

Chelsea ponder Wilfried Bony and Riechedly Bazoer moves

Chelsea weigh up 8m move for Vitesse hotshot Bony as Wallace and Bazoer moves loom

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UPDATED:

22:57 GMT, 8 November 2012

Chelsea are considering a move for powerful Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony.

The Ivory Coast international has scored 12 goals in 11 games this season and is rated at around 8m.

The 23-year-old almost joined Aston Villa in August.

Predator: Wilfried Bony has scored more than a goal a game for Vitesse this term

Predator: Wilfried Bony has scored more than a goal a game for Vitesse this term

Meanwhile, Fluminense's manager Abel Braga has confirmed Brazilian full-back Wallace, 18, is to join Chelsea but paperwork has yet to be completed.

And PSV Eindhoven teenager Riechedly Bazoer is due to visit Chelsea and
Arsenal this week as he weighs up his future.

The 16-year-old defender
has been offered a three year contract by PSV but is keen to come to
England with Manchester City also among his suitors.

Chelsea set to sign Wallace from Fluminense in 5m deal

Chelsea set to beat City and Juve to 5m deal for Brazilian teenager Wallace

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UPDATED:

11:06 GMT, 7 November 2012

Chelsea are close to finalising a 5million deal for long-term target Wallace from Brazilian side Fluminense.

The European champions have held 40 per cent of the young right-back's economic rights since 2010 following their free transfer of Deco to the Brazilian club.

They have been prompted to tie up a deal now following increased interest from Juventus and Napoli who offered 4.5m for the 18-year-old while Manchester City had also monitored the player.

Bound for the Bridge: Fluminense full-back Wallace (right) is heading to Chelsea

Bound for the Bridge: Fluminense full-back Wallace (right) is heading to Chelsea

Club representatives held further talks in Rio on Tuesday and a deal is expected to be confirmed on Monday after Fluminense hope to have won the Brasileirao Championship.

The Under 20 international, full name Wallace Oliveira Santos, was part of the same Brazil Under 17 side as Chelsea midfielder Lucas Piazon at the 2011 World Cup in Mexico. He could join Piazon at Stamford Bridge in January but a loan back to Fluminense has also been discussed.

Wallace’s agent Frederico Morais said: ‘Wallace and I have talked about Europe, but agreed that he will be best served by staying in Brazil. He now needs to develop more.

‘He actually already has a lot of experience for a player of only 18 years of age.’ Fluminense coach Abel Braga rates Wallace highly.

He said: ‘This kid has an extraordinary future ahead of him. In the attacking third of the field, his level of crossing is superior.’

David de Gea – Real Madrid want Manchester United goalkeeper

Madrid plot move for 'homesick' United keeper De Gea as replacement for Casillas

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UPDATED:

08:52 GMT, 23 October 2012

Real Madrid are eyeing Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea as a long-term replacement for Iker Casillas.

The Spanish champions and their manager Jose Mourinho have a strong relationship with De Gea’s agent Jorge Mendes and feel they can exploit that to tempt De Gea back to Spain in the foreseeable future.

Casillas has already stated that he sees De Gea as his successor in Spain’s national team and feels he can bring him on by working with the keeper at the Bernabeu.

Unhappy David De Gea has been linked with a move to Real Madrid

Unhappy David De Gea has been linked with a move to Real Madrid

Suggestions in Spain that De Gea is homesick in Manchester have not been confirmed by United.

He has been in and out of the United team and is not certain to start against Braga in the Champions League on Tuesday, which sources in Spain feel is contributing to his restlessness.

Earlier this month, De Gea admitted he often finds life tough at United.

'I am working flat-out every day because I need to regain the confidence of the coach.

'For me, a training session is a match and after that it is necessary for me to show what levels I can achieve in games.

'I ended last season satisfied with my
work for Manchester United, but it is quite normal to go back to zero at
the start of the following season.

Competition: Anders Lindegaard has often been favoured ahead of De Gea

Competition: Anders Lindegaard has often been favoured ahead of De Gea

'I don't believe I have been at the top in the last couple of months but with each game I am rediscovering my level.

'I accept the manager's decision. If he considers Anders [Lindegaard] as No 1 it is not a problem for me I only want to play and maintain my challenge for the position.'

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has no plans to choose a No 1 just yet, preferring to rotate De Gea and Lindegaard.

Future: Madrid are reported to want De Gea to replace Iker Casillas

Future: Madrid are reported to want De Gea to replace Iker Casillas

'Everybody
wants to play, goalkeepers are no different, but the way I look at it
at the moment is getting the two of them experience will help me in the
long term,' he said.

'Obviously
at some stage one of them will take over if he shows a real consistency
in top-level performance and he has shown a maturity.

'At the moment neither of them have got that big-game experience. They will get that in time.'

Manchester United must avoid complacency, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Failure won't be tolerated: Fergie warns United he won't accept Euro flop like last year

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UPDATED:

10:27 GMT, 17 September 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson is adamant his side will avoid the embarrassment of an early Champions League exit they suffered last season.

The three-time champions of Europe limped out at the group stage a year ago despite what appeared on paper to be a straightforward placing alongside Basel, Benfica and Otelul Galati.

No complacency: Sir Alex Ferguson has warned his team to give their all

No complacency: Sir Alex Ferguson has warned his team to give their all

This time United, who won the tournament
in 2008, are grouped with Galatasaray, Braga and Cluj, and Ferguson
won't tolerate another below-par showing.

'We've had opportunities in the competition,' he stated.

'We've lost two finals to Barcelona and won two in the last decade or so but we want to do better.

'Certainly, we’ll do better than last year – no question about that.

'The European Cup is incredible. There’s an atmosphere in the build-up to a European final and great charisma about it.

Also, without question, it elevates your status within the game like the Real Madrids and AC Milans.

'We want to be up there in terms of the number of trophies won in European football.

Flops: Manchester United were dumped out at the group stage last season

Flops: Manchester United were dumped out at the group stage last season

'The only thing you can think about is qualifying. Manchester City are with Borussia Dortmund, Ajax and Real Madrid and it’s going to be a tight group. It doesn’t mean to say City can’t get through as the other teams will be saying City are strong but the two who go through will deserve it.

'If we don’t go through, we will be criticised and pilloried for it and quite rightly. We’ve had our warning and I don’t anticipate going out this time.'

Celtic aim for Champions League glory

Kayal believes a huddle will help as Celtic plot Champions League progression

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UPDATED:

23:16 GMT, 5 August 2012

Celtic players have staged a dressing-room summit in order to plot a path towards the Champions League group stages.

The SPL champions travel to Helsinki on Tuesday with a slender 2-1 lead from the third round, first-leg qualifier.

And Beram Kayal says the players have reaffirmed their desire to secure a place in the final champions qualifying round in Finland on Wednesday.

Off and running: Celtic opened their SPL account with a win over Aberdeen

Off and running: Celtic opened their SPL account with a win over Aberdeen

‘The players spoke together about the big need to win the games to be in Champions League,’ Kayal said.

‘Everyone wants to feel that moment of being there with a big club like Celtic.

‘In the team now, we have a lot of players around 23 and 24 years of age and we train together and are together in the dressing room.

‘We spoke together about it and believe we are going to do it.’

Captain Scott Brown remains an injury doubt with a hip problem. James Forrest and Charlie Mulgrew will return, however, after missing a lacklustre win over Aberdeen on Saturday.

Main man: Celtic boss Neil Lennon urges his side on from the touchline

Main man: Celtic boss Neil Lennon urges his side on from the touchline

Determined to atone for previous setbacks at an early stage of the competitive season, Kayal insisted Celtic are ready this time.

‘Our focus is only on Wednesday and we want to do the job,’ he said. ‘We spoke before Sion and Braga and we believed, but some things didn’t go well and we haven’t played in the Champions League in the past two years.

‘But we’re more experienced now and had a Europa League season last year against some great teams, including Atletico Madrid who went on to win the trophy.’

Failure would damage manager Neil Lennon’s hopes of strengthening his squad, forcing Celtic to sell one of their star names to an English club.

Game on: Kris Commons (not pictured) scores Celtic's first goal

Game on: Kris Commons (not pictured) scores Celtic's first goal

Linked with Southampton recently, Kayal shrugged aside that prospect, adding: ‘I don’t take the decisions about players being sold or staying here, I just look at the positives.’

The next likely departure from Parkhead is defender Josh Thompson. Aberdeen are keen to secure a loan deal for the towering central defender, who played a trial for troubled Portsmouth last week.

Celtic, meanwhile, have dismissed reports of an 800,000 bid for 20-year-old Rosenborg midfielder Markus Henriksen.